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What If A Medical Treatment Has A Risk Of Death?

Divine Code for December 18, 2022

Today: Pages 362-364

Part 5:10 -- 5:11

A doctor who has official permission to heal, who was trying to save an unhealthy person and yet gave treatment that killed the patient, has not committed unintentional murder, but rather unpreventable murder, since he is trying to save the patient. Even if it is known that the correct medical treatment has a risk of death for the patient (for example, surgery), the doctor still has a responsibility to try and help, and therefore he is not called a murderer for using the treatment.

This only applies to a treatment that is generally given for a particular medical condition. But if the doctor gave the wrong treatment (i.e. malpractice), he has committed unintentional murder (and the Torah's permission for a blood-redeemer applies) since the doctor should have paid better attention.

It appears that this is only the case if he killed with his hands, like one who incorrectly performed a surgery. But if the doctor administered a wrong medicine, it is an instance of indirect murder (as explained in topic 1:7, and a blood-redeemer has no permission to kill him)

However, if this doctor is not licensed (or there was a more competent licensed doctor available) and he caused death, even if he only wanted to help the patient, this is an instance that began with the negligence of not leaving the treatment to a certified doctor, and even if it is unpreventable in the end, he is liable to be sentenced for murder. It need not be said that if the doctor killed on purpose through a hands-on treatment, that he can be considered a murderer.

Curious about the whole page? You can read it in The Divine Code.

Reading schedule the Divine Code

Yesterday: 5:6 -- 5:9

Tomorrow: 5:12 -- 5:14

Brought By Sarah Bakker


Sarah Bakker is a blog writer and illustrator for the Noahide Academy. After a difficult time, she found Judaism. She has been a Noahide for many years and uses her experiences and knowledge combined with her creative talents to help others.



The Divine Code (Third Edition)


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